Speaking with St. Louis’ own Afton “YoungAddyCo” Johnson was very exciting and real! We speak about fashion, every day life, family, friends and haters. Also the entrepreneur has a new business venture up her sleeve that current customers and future customers will greatly appreciate. From being a mommy, her own model,a stylist, a business owner and more, Afton tells us how the journey wasn’t easy. Meet fashion designer Afton Johnson.
Winnie:When did you start designing?
Afton:I started sewing when I was in middle school. I started designing like 6-7 years ago.
Winnie:Why did you decide to go into the fashion industry?
Afton:I’ve always been a artsy person. I took dance, music and even journalism first because the fashion designing courses were full. But as soon as the spot opened I was right there. I LOVE clothes. Gives me the opportunity to reconstruct items. Also my sister held a fashion show and watching her show come to life inspired me not only to design but to hold my own shows or be a designer in one. It’s also in my blood. My mother and grandmother have fashion under their belt also.
Winnie:What is your take on continuing education?
Afton:Well after attending Lindenwood University and The Art Institute of Chicago I learned a lot from my professors. Me starting my business put school on hold but I do plan to finish. I owe it to my professors and myself.
Winnie:What type of woman do you style for?
Afton:Any type of woman. I think I’m very well rounded. I can be contemporary, formal and even exotic. I just like playing with material. I can make a suit with a blouse that has a crisp collar for the business woman. I can make a nice sundress for everyday wear. I can make something exotic for strippers or after hours. I have different types of clients. I have plus size, conservative and even strippers. I want everyone to feel comfortable in my designs. I put a twist on anything personally made to fit that clients comfort level and personality. It’s not all about the money for me. My main goal is to give great customer service. Who wants the fast money? I want the long money. I’d rather have longevity in this occupation.
Winnie:What have you learned becoming a designer in the fashion industry?
Afton:I learned that I needed to sit back. I found myself being in at least 3 shows a year. People love my designs but I want to keep the excitement and give people something to look forward to.
Winnie: Do you think it was hard gaining support or no?
Afton:My hometown, St. Louis had been very supportive. They are very truthful (laughs) if you ain’t got it, they will tell you. I’ve gotten major support from friends, family and my guy who invests in me. I know people notice me but I want it to always be in a good light. I just want to be liked. Maybe you don’t like my clothes. Ok. But try liking me for me. I’ve always been a people person. People always say “I love my haters”, I don’t love mine. I had to learn to stop that. Haters don’t need to be acknowledged. HATERS ARE IRRELEVANT. I had to learn to pray about it. And I’m still learning. It’s so easy for the devil to come in and make the person closest to you jealous of you. I had to learn to be humble and not think everyone is jealous of me. But also know everyone doesn’t have my best interest at heart either. It’s hard because I have a big heart. I want everyone to see that I’m a lovable person. I want to inspire. I want to be that style icon.
Winnie:What’s a day like in Afton’s world?
Afton:I do my typical motherly duties. Get up and get my daughter together. I go to the fabric store early. I check my emails and Instagram early. I always make time for appointments. 3-4 nights out of the week I’m up late. But for the most part I get to enjoy myself. I manage my time to get orders done, enjoy time with my daughter Addy and even do some traveling. That’s the good part of being self employed. Even though there aren’t set business hours and my phone rings all day it’s on because I’m doing what I love.
Winnie:What’s upcoming for Young Addy Co?
Afton:After high demand I’ve decided to open an online boutique this summer. The website will feature Women, Men and kids clothing. The items will be limited to make each person rocking YoungAddyCo feel exclusive. There will be a launch party and viewing of the items July 27th which will be hosted by BET The Game’s LaShontae Heckard. This is a celebration of me going to the next level and I can’t wait. The launch of the site will be July 29th. I’ve had a lot of requests from areas like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston. I’ve decided to jump out on faith. I know I won’t fail but I’m expecting roadblocks bug with God by my dude, I GOT THIS.
Stay tuned for upcoming events, website and more from Afton Johnson through Instagram:@young_addy_co !!!!
Also inquiries for orders contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell her Winnie sent you!